Listen now (audio version of this article)
It has emerged that Ghana, a country which is struggling to provide decent jobs for the unemployed, spent approximately $4.5 million on its senior national team, the Black Stars during the just ended 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament held in Egypt.
The expenditure covered payment of winning bonuses to the players, and the technical staff, acquisition of travel visas, feeding for the contingent, external travels, and per diems.
Most Ghanaians did not expect the Black Stars to go far in the AFCON tournament anyway. So were the players’ wish.
The posture of Coach, Kwesi Appiah plus the uncivilised misunderstanding over who should lead or Captain the Black Stars was a clear prophesy that the team was going to mess up in Egypt.
Are we not surprised that nation prophet, Reverend Isaac Owusu Bempah, with all the spiritual powers he claims to have, couldn’t see this huge disgrace visiting the ‘incompetent’ Black Stars in June/July, 2019?
Quite shocking, the Blacks Stars miraculously managed to reach the round of 16 of the African cup game where they were miserably kicked out by Tunisia on penalty shootout.
The latest revelation about how much was spent on the Black Stars during the AFCON competition has turned the whole country upside down.
Sports Minister, Isaac Kwame Asiamah on Wednesday revealed that the state approved a budget of $6,365,033.84 for the Black Stars, out of which $4,564,352.00 was spent. The figure implies that the team, which won only one match out of four games spent 72% of the tax payers money given them.
The Black Stars’ expenditure at the AFCON has turned majority of Ghanaians into financial analysts. A lot of questions have been raised about the budget. For instance ‘poor nation’ Ghana spent a whooping $1,143,519 on accommodation alone. Many wonder if the Sports Ministry used that cash to build a 12-bedroom apartment for the national team whiles in Egypt.
I had a runny tummy after I learnt from a report published in the July 25, 2019 edition of the Daily Graphic (page 62) that each of the Black Stars players earned $50,000 following their participation in the AFCON tournament.
It was shocking to know that, although the senior national team crushed out at round of 16, ‘the Black Stars players were paid almost the same amount as their Senegalese counterparts who earned a total of $51,000 each for placing second in the competition.’
For now, some ‘patriotic Ghanaians’ like me have decided not to complain about the 2019 AFCON expenditure. We will rather lock up ourselves in the room and cry for 40 days.
Indeed, this the best time to be a Ghanaian. President Nana Akufo-Addo has urged us to be citizens not spectators but I am sorry to say that hard core ‘patriotic Ghanaians’ will not buy this idea at this time.
If we complain too much, our leaders might think that the public expects the government to probe the messy AFCON expenditure. Before we become fully aware, they have set up a Committee of Enquiry and used the remaining $1.8 million of the tournament cash, which the Sports Minister should return to the state any way, to pay the members of that Committee.
But we will not give them a reason to carry out such a feverous action this time.
Get in touch with the writer: Daniel Ofosu Phone: +233 200130680 Email:firstname.lastname@example.org IG: Kasatintin_TV
Check out the details of the Black Stars’ budget below.